Saskatchewan Roughriders ride turnovers to a 40-18 victory over Ottawa Redblacks

Roughriders roll into second half of 2019 CFL season on a five-game winning streak

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders increased their winning streak to five games with a 40-18 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday.

The Riders converted three first-quarter interceptions by Ottawa quarterback Dominique Davis into 17 points. Running back William Powell (four-yard run), quarterback Cody Fajardo (14-yard run) and Brett Lauther (46-yard field goal) scored for the Riders during the first-quarter uprising.

“We knew that field goals weren’t going to get it done,” Fajardo said. “Offensively, I was really proud of the group being able to finish drives. We had two touchdowns and one field goal and we were able to go up 17-0 really quick. That’s all a credit to the defence and the special teams getting us in good field position.”

Saskatchewan improved its record to 6-3 and has won six of its last seven games. The Redblacks fell to 3-7 and are 1-7 since beating the Riders 44-41 in Week 2 of the CFL season. The Riders are 6-1 since that loss.

“We just have to keep it rolling,” Fajardo said. “We’re a hot team right now and there is a fine line between being confident and knowing that there is room to improve. I think that we put together a pretty good game in all three phases, but it wasn’t our best game. I missed a couple of throws I know that I should have made and we had some penalties that set us back a bit.”

The result also moved the Riders into second place in the West Division, trailing the first-place Winnipeg Blue Bombers (8-2) and ahead of the third-place Edmonton Eskimos (6-4). The Riders will now face the Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic on Sept. 1 and the rematch in Winnipeg on Sept. 7.

“We feel good about being 6-3 but we know that with Winnipeg coming to town, it’s going to be a tough game and we’ll have to play better,” Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson said.

Nick Marshall set up the Riders’ first touchdown when he intercepted a Davis pass intended for Brad Sinopoli at Ottawa’s 34-yard line. Marshall returned the interception to the Redblacks’ 21.

Four plays later, Powell scored on a four-yard run. After Lauther’s convert, the Riders led 7-0 at 3:44 of the first quarter.

Davis was intercepted on Ottawa’s next series, this time by L.J. McCray, who returned the pick to Ottawa’s 21-yard line. Five players later, Fajardo scored on a 14-yard run. Lauther converted the touchdown and the Riders held a 14-0 lead at 9:03 of the first quarter.

The Riders extended their lead to 17-0 after Davis served up his third consecutive interception. Derrick Moncrief returned the pick 35 yards to Ottawa’s 11-yard line. The ball was eventually moved back to Ottawa’s 46 after penalties and an ejection that resulted from a skirmish after Moncrief was tackled.

The Riders took over at Ottawa’s 46 and moved to ball to the Redblacks’ 38. Lauther came in and connected on a 46-yard field goal at 12:16 of the first quarter.

Sixty-one seconds in to the second quarter, Lauther connected on a 46-yard field goal that increased the Riders’ lead to 20-0.

Ottawa finally got on the scoreboard after Lewis Ward connected on a 36-yard field goal at 5:39 on the second quarter, reducing the Riders’ lead to 20-3.

Ward then hit on his second consecutive field goal — this time from 36 yards — as the Redblacks trailed 20-6 at 11:54 of the second quarter.

The Riders went ahead 21-6 after Jon Ryan’s 51-yard punt single at 12:45 of the second quarter.

On Ottawa’s subsequent possession, Jonathon Jennings connected on a 75-yard pass-and-run TD with Dominique Rhymes. Ward missed the convert and the Riders’ lead was 21-12 at 13:21 of the second quarter. Jennings took over as Ottawa’s quarterback after the third pick by Davis.

The Riders responded to Ottawa’s touchdown with a 48-yard field goal by Lauther that increased Saskatchewan’s lead to 24-12 at 14:38 of the second quarter.

Saskatchewan increased its lead to 25-12 after Ryan’s 56-yard single at 6:04 of the third quarter.

Ward then booted a 44-yard field goal at 8:02 of the third quarter to reduce the Riders’ lead to 25-15.

Cody Fajardo snapped his streak of 195 minutes 28 seconds without a touchdown pass at 12:28 of the third quarter when he threw a dart to Naaman Roosevelt. The 15-yard touchdown pass and Lauther’s convert increased Saskatchewan’s lead to 32-15.

Seven seconds into the fourth quarter, Ward connected on a 32-yard field goal as the Redblacks trailed 33-18.

Powell scored his second touchdown at 12:29 of the fourth quarter on a 23-yard rumble. Lauther’s convert wrapped up the Riders’ scoring.